Friday, April 11, 2008The 101st Airborne is on the way to Afghanistan to relieve the 82nd, and 3200 Marines on the way to South Afghanistan. More than half of the western troops in country now are U.S. forces.
WARRIORS IN KNEE-PANTS
By William Fisher
The CDI found large increases in government and commercial U.S. arms sales in recent years to 25 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa that have become allies against Islamist militancy since the Sept. 11 attacks.
The nonpartisan Washington-based think tank said half the countries were identified by the State Department in 2006 as having serious, grave or significant human rights problems.
The center's analysis of U.S. data showed government-to-government U.S. arms sales to some 25 countries rocketed to $3.9 billion in 2006 from about $400 million a year earlier. The 2006 figure accounted for about 22 percent of the total $18 billion in U.S. foreign military sales last year.
"The trend is continuing in a steep upward climb," said Rachel Stohl, a co-author of the CDI study.
The center also criticized the Bush administration for its increasing use of new military assistance accounts, which it said allow the Pentagon to bypass legal restrictions on training or arming human rights abusers.
"The United States is sending unprecedented levels of military assistance to countries that it simultaneously criticizes for lack of respect for human rights and, in some cases, for questionable democratic processes," the center said. In Full
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